Floyd Mayweather to be Stripped of WBC Belt?Written by Lee Cleveland
Will the WBC declare Floyd Mayweather Jr their welterweight 'champion in recess?'
The current WBC Welterweight Champion is set to move up in weight and fight WBA 'Super' Jr Middleweight king Miguel Cotto on May 5th before facing a possible 90 day stint in jail starting June 1.
Floyd Mayweather won the title on September 17th by knocking out Victor Ortiz in the the fourth round in Las Vegas and has yet to defend it.
WBC Rule 1.21 a states: All WBC recognized champions must defend their title at least two (2) times a year.
If Floyd serves the full 90 days, the earliest he'd be released would be sometime in October - more than a year since winning the title. And even if Floyd Mayweather is given reduced jail time, the WBC recognizes it would be highly unlikely for Mayweather to defend his title twice over the course of 1-3 months.
Floyd Mayweather's bout with Cotto will not count as a title defense because the bout will take place at jr middleweight (154 lbs), not weltweweight (147 lbs). Also, the WBC's ruling, regardless of what they decide, will not impact Mayweather's status as WBA 'Super' Jr Middleweight Champion should Floyd defeat Cotto May 5th.
WBC Interim Title
Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KO), a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion and former two-time IBF Featherweight Champion will face WBC mandatory challenger Selcuk Aydin (23-0, 17 KO) at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California on July 28 live on Showtime (in the U.S.) for the interim WBC Welterweight Title.
The bout can be elevated to full title status (as opposed to interim) when or if WBC President Jose Sulaiman gives his 'stamp of approval.' If Floyd Mayweather decides to face the winner immediately upon his release from prison, Guerrero and Aydin must fight for the interim WBC Welterweight title with the winner having to fight Floyd, the 'champion in recess,' for the vacant WBC Welterweight title.
What will happen to Floyd Mayweather's WBC title should he defeat Cotto and/or choose to not fight the winner of Guerrero vs Aydin is not yet known.
The WBC's Mauricio Sulaiman told BoxingScene:
"The WBC's concept of interim-titles is still in the rules. The interim-title was created many, many years ago and specifically for situations like this one. The reason [we rarely use] the interim concept, is because it was abused tremendously - especially by other organizations and it created so much confusion all over the world with the boxing fans. We do still have in our rules the possibility of accepting the interim championship. It will only be done in very, very special circumstances like this one."
Guerrero, who will turn 29 in two weeks, is a naturally big, strong, aggressive southpaw with excellent footwork who, according to some experts, has a legitimate chance of defeating Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Last fall, Guerrero and his team tried endlessly to lure Mayweather into selecting Robert as his next opponent.
If Miguel Cotto defeats Floyd Mayweather, will Floyd go back down to welterweight to reclaim his title from Robert Guerrero should the latter defeat Selcuk Aydin?
Given all of Guerrero's very public verbal jibes at Mayweather last year, a bitter Floyd may likely want to make an example out of Guerrero and use last year's buzz over the prospect of Floyd Mayweather vs Robert Guerrero to his full advantage.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.